Best Dry Bags for Kayaking – Buying Guide

by Richard Dravick

September 27, 2018

Best Dry Bags for Kayaking

Every kayaker knows the importance of a dry bag. We depend on them to keep our gear dry. Let’s say you bring your iPhone, water bottle, and food, you will want to keep them safe and away from the water. 

What is a Dry Bag?

Simply put, this is a watertight bag that is essential in keeping the things in it dry. Whether you are kayaking in the lake, river, or ocean wherever the excursion takes you, a dry bag is that one piece of gear that keeps your accessories in good shape. 

What about a Dry Sack?

A dry sack refers to the size of the bag. Large dry bags are usually referred to as dry sacks. As such, they serve the same purpose. They are the kind you take if you plan to combine kayaking and camping as you need to carry sleeping gear and spare clothes. They can also be laid under a sleeping bag to prevent it from soaking wet as you sleep. 

Benefits of a Dry Bag

Unigear 2L/5L/10L/20L/30L/40L 600D Dry Bag Sack, Waterproof Floating Dry Gear Bags for Boating, Kayaking, Fishing, Rafting, Swimming and Camping with Waterproof Phone Case(Army Green,20L)
Shield Everything from the Elements

A dry bag is unlike a water resistant bag. These bags keep electronics and other valuables safe from the elements. Be it snow, sand, or dirt; nothing can breach their seal. They have an incredible level of protection, unlike other bags that may stain or get damaged from the things stored in it. 

Keep Wet Gear In

As much as dry bags keep things dry, they also help to store wet gear away from your other dry stuff. Say you have a wetsuit that you can’t together with your dry clothes, a dry bag will come in handy. And because it floats on water, it is a good idea to take for kayaking adventures.

Keep Food Dry:

Eating a mushy sandwich is not the ending you picture when taking a kayaking trip. Maybe you can manage some saturation in your bread, but water renders some food inedible. Without food, you may have to cut short your trip. Why not save yourself the trouble and get a dry bag for the trip?

Lightweight and Versatile:

It’s easy to bring a dry bag with you since it is lightweight and folds for storage. Keep one in your kayak at all times for when you’ll need it. 

Features to Consider when Buying a Dry Bag

Construction Materials

There are a variety of materials that dry bags are made of, but vinyl and nylon are the most common. Vinyl is stiff and heavy. It is used to carry heavy and abrasive equipment. As such, it is durable, but you will be dealing with some extra weight. 

Nylon often referred to as Sil-nylon is lightweight and used to carry electronics and food items. Nylon is not waterproof in itself. It is coated with silicone that’s why it’s called Sil-nylon. You will notice a number and a D in nylon bags. It refers to the thread count or density. The higher the number, the denser the dry bag and the better the quality. 


Dry bags come in a variety of sizes but are usually classified as small, medium, and large. Small dry bags carry items like phones, headphones, money, first aid kits, water purifiers, flashlights, and other accessories. 

Medium dry bags are excellent for clothes, food, boots, wetsuits, and gear that do not require much space. This way, you can stay organized and know where everything is located. If you need to carry camping gear, a large dry bag will come in handy. 


Most dry bags take the form of a cylinder where you can access things from the top. But you can find tapered kayak bags or holdall bags. With tapered designs, they can fit in the nose of the kayak. They may also have a purge valve that will help to reduce the size of the bag. 

Holdall dry bags are much like duffel bags. They feel like you are traveling light and are easy to access and organize properly. 


Dry bags are intended to keep contents dry from splashes and not full submersion for extended periods. You should consider the waterproof rating of a particular dry bag. This is important if you want to protect electronic items completely. 

Closure Type

The closure affects waterproofing. You will find either roll-tops or zipper seals. Roll-tops are considered more waterproof because the top folds over itself. To ensure it remains so, it should not be filled to the top so that it folds. For zippers, ensure that it closes the whole length. 

Best Dry Bags for Kayaking

1. Earth Pak-Waterproof Dry Bag for Kayaking - Best Overall Dry Bag

Earth Pak- Waterproof Dry Bag with Front Zippered Pocket Keeps Gear Dry for Kayaking, Beach, Rafting, Boating, Hiking, Camping and Fishing with Waterproof Phone Case

The Earth Pak 10L dry bag is popular among light packers. It manages to be durable and flexible thanks to its construction from 500D PVC. This material is abrasion and tear resistant making it ideal for carrying delicate items like glass water bottles and tablets. 

Design and Performance

​​​This dry bag provides waterproofing qualities owing to its thermo-welded seams. You will be glad it includes an IPX8 waterproof phone case. It can fit all modern size smartphones that are up to 6.5 inches (diagonal). It has a snap and lock closure to ensure water never gets into the case.

Being light and compact, you can load this bag and float it alongside your kayak. You may not have enough space on the kayak, but that’s no reason not to bring the stuff you like. 

It comes with shoulder straps that make it easy to transport the bag over your shoulder or across the chest. It even throws in hardened D-rings that help to connect the bag to the side of your kayak. 


  • Includes a splashproof front zippered pocket 
  • Roll-top and buckle closure system
  • IPX8 waterproof phone case 
  • Available in 10L, 20L, and 40L sizes
  • Cylinder design is easy to carry on the back
  • Durable 500D PVC construction 


  • The waterproof case is not durable

2. Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack - Best High-End Dry Bag

Sea To Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack - Black 65L

The Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack is not the average kayak dry bag. Designed to take extreme elements, this bag can handle everything you throw at it while keeping your valuables free from moisture. 

Design and Performance Features

With a 600D TPU material, this dry bag is waterproof and ready to take on the sea. The fabric is laminated, and it features welded seams. It can also withstand extreme cold and UV making it a durable pick. The closure is a non-wicking TPU roll-top closure that you will want to roll three times to ensure it maintains its waterproofing status. 

The air mesh shoulder straps include EVA foam to make it comfortable if you have to carry the bag for an extended period. And if your load is too heavy, you get some leverage from the waist strap. Since there are smaller sizes like 8L, 13L, and 20L, the waist strap is only in the 35L and 60L sizes.

The oval base is a thoughtful feature since it prevents the bag from rolling over when you place it on flat ground. It makes loading and removing stuff fast and easy. 

Overall, Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack is a reliable model designed for light and heavy-duty use. You can get the size you want in a variety of colors to suit your preferences. 


  • Waterproof and UV resistant 
  • Comes with Hypalon lash patches to attach to a kayak
  • Includes waist strap for heavier sizes
  • Comfortable shoulder straps with EVA foam and air mesh
  • Oval base for a stable footing 


  • It is not lockable using an external locking system like a padlock 

3. Luck Route Waterproof Dry Backpack - Best Waterproof Dry Backpack

Luck route Waterproof Dry Backpack with Straps and Pockets - Floating Dry Bag for Beach - Sack for Kayaking and Boating or Fishing (Yellow, 20L)

Kayaking is so much easier when everything is as you packed it in your storage bag. Luck Route Waterproof Dry Backpack gives you that peace of mind. From the construction materials to the design, it is the ultimate backpack for your next kayaking trip. 

Design Features and Performance

This backpack is 100% waterproof. It closes using a top roll and buckle system to make it tight and snug. This ensures no water can penetrate the seals. It is even submersible for around 10 minutes so no worries if you push it into the water when it's loaded. 

The inside compartments are all about smart organizing. You have the main pocket where you can pack large items like a pot or stove while a small inner pocket is useful for small electronics. The front pocket has Velcro and zipper closures as well as a phone pouch bag that fits all-sizes of phones. 

You will also like the side pocket for water bottles. The pocket has a zipper, and you can throw in some other stuff too. It makes everything accessible from your keys to your wallet, and other gadgets while everything else is organized in the backpack. 

The Luck Route waterproof kayak bag is one of a kind. It is easy to carry, organize, and take it on extreme adventures. 


  • Small and lightweight 
  • Side and front pockets 
  • Roll-top and buckle closure 
  • Easy to organize valuable items
  • Two adjustable straps for easy carriage
  • Inner pocket for storing electronics 


  • The shoulder straps are not padded; hence they can dig into your shoulders when carrying heavy loads 

4. Unigear Floating Waterproof Dry Bag - Best Cheap Dry Bag

Unigear 2L/5L/10L/20L/30L/40L 600D Dry Bag Sack, Waterproof Floating Dry Gear Bags for Boating, Kayaking, Fishing, Rafting, Swimming and Camping with Waterproof Phone Case(Army Green,20L)

Are you looking for the most comfortable kayak dry bag? Unigear is an exceptional bag that provides comfortable storage using one or two straps depending the size you pick. You get to choose from the smallest at 2L to the largest at 40L.

Design and Performance

Get protection from everything with Unigear. A dry bag made from 600D polyurethane-coated nylon, this bag proves ideal to face dust, snow, sand, and other harsh elements. It can be submerged, and your items will remain dry. 

This dry bag has welded seam construction and a roll-top that does not wrinkle. When filled to the right height, you can be sure that no amount of exposure can make the seals give. It does not have extra pockets in the front or side so no quick access to small items. But it is quite spacious, and you can organize valuables effortlessly. 

It comes with a 6-inch (diagonal) waterproof case that has a crystal clear window on both sides for you phone. It is touch friendly, so you can take pictures, send emails, and access the functions of your phone without opening the case.

This is a lightweight waterproof bag that is going to make your life around water easier and better. Pick your size and manage gear like a pro. 


  • Available in six sizes
  • Comes with a touch-friendly waterproof phone case
  • Durable 600D nylon construction
  • Extra-long adjustable strap
  • Lightweight and comfortable 


  • It does not have a front or side pocket
Shop Related Products

Final Thoughts:

A dry bag is an essential piece of gear for every kayaker. These are the four Best Dry Bags for KayakingEnjoy your trips with our top pick the Earth Pak Waterproof Dry BagDesigned with a front pocket and convenient phone case, it is small and lightweight so it will not feel like extra baggage. 

If you are looking for a cheap dry bag, the Unigear brand is the one for you. It comes in a variety of sizes, and you never have to worry about using your phone because of the waterproof, touch-friendly case. 

About the author 

Richard Dravick  -  I created this site to help people who like myself enjoy kayaking and fishing. Kayaking allows you enjoy all the great themes of nature that are around us everywhere and combining this with fishing can create some of the most memorable times in life.
Please let me know if you have enjoyed these reviews and if you have thoughts on what you would like to see for future reviews so that I can keep the content fresh.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}